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About Us | Manitoba Accessibility Office

About Us

Manitoba Accessibility Office

Raising awareness is an important part of making our province accessible for all Manitobans.

About the Manitoba
Accessibility Office

The Manitoba Accessibility Office, originally named Manitoba's Disabilities Issues Office, was founded in May 2003. The office is responsible for developing and conducting public education activities to increase awareness about The Accessibility for Manitobans Act.

As standards of the act are introduced and regulations become law, the Manitoba Accessibility Office will provide tools and other resources to help local businesses, non-profits and public sector organizations understand and comply with the accessibility regulations.

The Manitoba Accessibility Office employs an executive director, policy analysts, communication and engagement specialist, an office manager and STEP students. The office works collaboratively with community organizations, Accessibility Advisory Council, Accessibility Compliance Secretariat and the Minister responsible for Accessibility.

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flag on mountain

Mission

To achieve greater access and inclusion in Manitoba by promoting accessibility law and practices through education, awareness and collaboration with communities, organizations and business.

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Vision

A fully accessible and inclusive Manitoba where all abilities are valued, diversity and independence are celebrated, barriers are removed and human rights are protected.

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Commitments

Accessibility

The Manitoba Accessibility Office is committed to enacting legislation that improves the lives of people with disabilities, promoting and protecting disability rights and advocating for disability justice.

Truth and Reconciliation

The office is also committed to truth and reconciliation. We believe in working collaboratively with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to make our province more inclusive and accessible for everyone. We know that reconciliation is an ongoing process and requires the full participation of all Manitobans, including the Manitoba government.

Our work is guided by the Manitoba Government's Path to Reconciliation Act and the following principles:

Respect

Reconciliation is founded on respect for Indigenous nations and Indigenous peoples. Respect is based on awareness and acknowledgement of the history of Indigenous peoples and appreciation of their languages, cultures, practices and legal traditions.

Engagement

Reconciliation is founded on engagement with Indigenous nations and Indigenous peoples.

Understanding

Reconciliation is fostered by striving for a deeper understanding of the historical and current relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and the hopes and aspirations of Indigenous nations and Indigenous peoples.

Action

Reconciliation is furthered by concrete and constructive action that improves the present and future relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

A History of Accessibility in Manitoba

A person sits in a wheelchair and another person stands to his left on a bridge.

The Manitoba government has a longstanding history of recognizing people with disabilities within its work. Through the Manitoba Accessibility Office, the Manitoba government is able to view and respond to important issues through a disability-lens.

Timeline

1998
In 1998, the Manitoba government adopted, together with...
  • In 1998, the Manitoba government adopted, together with other provincial, territorial and federal governments, a document entitled "In Unison: A Canadian Approach to Disability Issues".
  • It projected a vision of Canadian society based on the values of equality, inclusion and independence in which people with disabilities are full participants.
  • The document recognized that the realization of this vision is a responsibility shared by all:

    "Persons with disabilities participate as full citizens in all aspects of Canadian society. The full participation of persons with disabilities requires the commitment of all segments of society. The realization of the vision will allow persons with disabilities to maximize their independence and enhance their well-being through access to required supports and the elimination of barriers that prevent their full participation."

A group of people working in a room.
A person looking at a laptop.
2001
In 2001, at the request of community groups, the Manitoba...
  • In 2001, at the request of community groups, the Manitoba government published "Full Citizenship: A Manitoba Provincial Strategy on Disability".
  • The report called for the creation of the “Disabilities Issues Office” that would provide a disability and inclusion lens throughout government to identify, prevent and remove barriers to full citizenship for persons with disabilities.
  • The document also:
    • called for a more inclusive society
    • announced plans to improve employment opportunities and supports for people with disabilities
    • provided guidance for future plans between the disability community and the Manitoba government
    • set out goals and plans including measures to improve employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities
    • recommended actions to make Manitoba government buildings more accessible
2003
Following the recommendations of the "Full Citizenship...
  • Following the recommendations of the "Full Citizenship: A Manitoba Provincial Strategy on Disability". report, The Disabilities Issues Office was opened in May 2003 and reported to the Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities.
  • Upon its formation, the Disabilities Issues Office was responsible for coordinating disability policy across government, independent of provincial departments providing programs to persons with disabilities. It was not directly involved in the delivery of programs or services.
  • It also addressed issues of importance to children, youth and seniors with disabilities, as well as families and caregivers. It recognized the added barriers experienced by women, Indigenous people and people who are visible minorities.
2008
"The Accessibility Lens" Report came out in 2008.

2009
The Manitoba government published the discussion...
  • The Manitoba government published the discussion paper, "Opening Doors: Manitoba's Commitment to Persons with Disabilities".
  • Since releasing "Full Citizenship: A Manitoba Provincial Strategy on Disability" in 2001, this paper outlined the significant strides in four building blocks: income support, access to government, disability supports and employment for persons with disabilities.
  • The goal of the discussion paper was to expand on the vision for people with disabilities that was outlined in the 2001 strategy.
  • The paper outlined ideas for moving forward and incorporated suggestions made by people with disabilities during several Manitoba round tables on disability hosted by the Disabilities Issues Office from 2001 to 2009.
2010
The Manitoba Policy on Access to government report...

The Manitoba Policy on Access to government report was approved by Cabinet in 2008.

2013
Over time, the scope and focus of the Disabilities Issues...
  • Over time, the scope and focus of the Disabilities Issues Office's work began to evolve. On December 5, 2013, the Manitoba government passed The Accessibility for Manitobans Act.
  • Manitoba was the second province to enact accessibility legislation, after Ontario.
  • The purpose of the legislation is to prevent and remove barriers that affect persons with disabilities and outlined proactive processes to identify, remove and prevent barriers in key areas of daily living.
  • Since the enactment of The Accessibility for Manitobans Act, the Disabilities Issues Office's role included:
    • Developing The Accessibility for Manitobans Act
    • Supporting the implementation of The Accessibility for Manitobans Act
    • Increasing public awareness of The Accessibility for Manitobans Act
    • Promoting disability inclusion
2015
Enactment of the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service.

Enactment of the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service.

2019
Enactment of the Accessibility Standard for Employment.

Enactment of the Accessibility Standard for Employment.

2020
On December 3, 2020, "International Day of Persons with....
  • On December 3, 2020, "International Day of Persons with Disabilities", The Disabilities Issues Office was renamed the Manitoba Accessibility Office.
  • This name accurately reflects the emphasis on accessibility and responsibilities of the office.
2022
Enactment of the Accessible Information and Communication...

Enactment of the Accessible Information and Communication Standard Regulation.

2024
The Accessible Transportation Standard Regulation....

The Accessible Transportation Standard Regulation became law in Manitoba.

Historical Reports

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